What is the Shinbone?

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  • Written By: Lilian Emmanuel
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2019
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The shinbone is a large bone found in the lower leg of animals with a backbone, such as human beings. Although there are two the bones in the lower leg, the shinbone is the stronger and larger one. The smaller one is called the calf bone or fibula.

The scientific name for shinbone is the tibia, which is a Latin word meaning "flute." In ancient times, this musical instrument was often made using the bones of animals. This bone is also the second largest bone in the human body, second only to the thighbone, or femur.

The head of the shinbone is connected to the femur, while the tail connects to the talus, which is the bone of the ankle. The medial surface and the sharp anterior crest of the shinbone can be felt underneath the skin and are not protected by any muscle. The shinbone is a strong bone, but it can get dislocated, broken, or fractured from a strong and direct blow to the bone, such as that caused by a car accident or a fall from very high.

When there is a shinbone fracture, the soft tissues of the knee may be damaged in addition to the bone. The injured person will usually feel intense and excruciating pain whenever he tries to bear his weight on the leg with the injury. Treatment of this kind of fracture can be surgical or non-surgical, depending on the severity of the injury.


In the case of a dislocation, the tibia and fibula can be out of place, and the leg will usually look deformed. The injured person will also experience pain, and the knee is likely to be swollen. Dislocation should be treated by an medical professional, such as an orthopedist, and home treatment is not advised. To help ease the pain and swelling, an ice pack can be applied to the affected area.

As people get older, their bones often get softer, becoming more fragile and brittle. It is recommended that older people eat foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium, like milk, yogurt, sardines, and cereals, which can help maintain strong bones. There are also many over-the-counter vitamin D and calcium supplements. It is a good idea for patients to ask a doctor before taking any medications.


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